Monday, April 03, 2006

The FBI Is Watching You And Your Bagels, Doughnuts And Fruitcakes!

Ok, not exactly you but what about mediator gift giving – is that a Federal crime? It could be. The Star-Ledger reports in this article that the FBI is investigating the state board responsible for hearing labor disputes, after New Jersey’s ethics commission found the board’s employees improperly accepted gifts and cash from private arbitrators and mediators seeking work, according to officials familiar with the probe.

Remember, Florida Rules for Certified and Court-Appointed Mediators provides:

Rule 10.330(c) Impartiality, Gifts and Solicitation.

A mediator shall neither give nor accept a gift, favor, loan, or other item of value in any mediation process. During the mediation process, a mediator shall not solicit or otherwise attempt to procure future professional services.

The Committee Notes suggest that subdivision (c) does not preclude a mediator from giving or accepting de minimis gifts or incidental items provided to facilitate the mediation.

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